‘I heard a Fly Buzz – when I died’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable depiction of the moments before death. The speaker emphasizes the stillness of the room and the movements of a single fly.
The speaker's death is nearing and its impossible to really ignore what is about to happen.
‘Equinox’ by Elizabeth Alexander is a heartfelt poem about death and how all living things are forced to contend with it. The speaker uses a creative metaphor comparing bees on the equinox to her grandmother.
Mortality is one of the most important topics of this poem. The poet never uses the word "mortality" specifically, but the various images she uses make the importance of acknowledging the end of life very obvious.
‘Twas the old — road — through pain—’ by Emily Dickinson describes a woman’s path from life to death and her entrance into Heaven.
Mortality is something the woman has to face as she ages.
‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain’ by Emily Dickinson is a popular poem. In it, she depicts a very unusual idea of life after death.
Dickinson skillfully reminds readers of their mortality with images of death.
‘Sunlight on the Garden’ by Louis MacNeice is a poem about change, death, and accepting that life eventually ends.
The poet is forced to contend with his, and everyone he know's, mortality.
‘Because I could not stop for death,’ Dickinson’s best-known poem, is a depiction of one speaker’s journey into the afterlife with personified “Death” leading the way.
This poem inherently reminds readers of everyone's mortality and inspires them to consider what happens after one passes away.
‘Two Armies’ by Stephen Spender describes two armies on a devastating battlefield where every individual is suffering. Their common humanity is highlighted.
The soldiers are faced with reminders of their mortality at all times, everyday. It adds to their overall suffering.
‘I died for beauty but was scarce’ by Emily Dickinson reflects her fascination for death and the possible life to follow.
The fact that this poem takes place in the afterlife reminds readers of their own mortality.
‘Steps’ by Frank O’Hara is one of the poet’s many pieces that explores life in New York City. It is written in his characteristic style and is filled with allusions that are sometimes hard to interpret.
Mortality is an implicit part of this unique poem. The poet knows he will die and that his time on earth is limited. This fuels his love for waking up in the morning and living in New York.
‘Gradatim’ by Josiah Gilbert Holland is a poem about the lifetime of work it takes to climb the ladder to Heaven. One needs to dedicate themselves to a life of good deeds to reach God.
An unspoken fact that is integral to this poem is that all humanity will need to face their mortality. The fact that all people will eventually die is key to the poet's determined attitude about reaching Heaven.